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June 2021
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Taiwan’s BLF funds continue recovery from Covid-19 hit

BLF
By Hui Ching-hoo   
May 7, 2021

Taiwan pension funds supervised by the Bureau of Labor Funds (BLF) posted an investment gain of NT$184.9 billion (US$6.65 billion) in the first quarter, translating into a return of 4.12%, as they continued to recover from the year-ago loss when global stocks plunged at the onset of the coronavirus crisis.

Assets of the eight labour pension and annuity funds rose 10.74% to NT$4.74 trillion from NT$4.28 trillion in March 2020, BLF says in a statement on May 4. Assets were up 3.94% from NT$4.56 trillion at the end of December.

The funds incurred an investment loss of NT$471.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020 amid the global market rout. They began to bounce back in July.

BLF Deputy Director General Liu Li-Ju notes that the global economy is recovering in the wake of the US government’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, and improved Covid-19 vaccination rates.

“BLF will continue to pursue multi-pronged investment strategies in the midst of the market recovery,” she says in the statement.

The Labor Retirement Fund, Taiwan’s largest defined-benefit pension plan, was the best performing fund in the first quarter, with a 5.36% return compared to a 13.37% loss a year ago.

The second best was the Labor Insurance Fund, Taiwan’s largest worker insurance scheme, with a return of 4.05% versus a 10.33% loss in January-March 2020.

The Farmers’ Pension Fund, which only came under the BLF early this year, posted a return of 4.05% and had NT$140 million of assets as of end-March.

Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture, which supervises the agricultural, forestry, and fishing industries, put the annuity fund under the BLF in January to beef up retirement protection for farmers. It did not publicly disclose the fund’s assets and return figures at that time.